When you're looking for more potassium in your diet, a banana is an obvious choice: It's tasty, it takes no special preparation, it comes in its own wrapper -- and the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the typical 4 oz. banana delivers a hefty 422 mg of potassium. But potassium seekers need not live by bananas alone. Several foods actually deliver more potassium, ounce-per-ounce or cup-for-cup.
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Dry beans of all kinds pack more potassium per one-cup serving than does an equivalent amount of banana. One cup of banana contains about 537 mg of potassium, the USDA says. Canned white beans have nearly 1,200 mg in an equivalent amount. Boiled pinto beans have about 746 mg; boiled and canned red kidney beans, about 713 mg and 658 mg, respectively; boiled navy beans, about 708 mg; boiled great northern beans, about 692 mg; and boiled black beans, about 611 mg. Canned baked beans have 550 mg to 750 mg per one-cup serving, depending on how they're prepared.
Four ounces of deglet noor dates, also called bread dates, will give you about 740 mg of potassium. If you're in the mood for a full cup's worth, it's nearly 1,170 mg. Deglet noor dates are firm and chewy, making them a handy on-the-go alternative to a banana.
A 7 oz. baked potato, both flesh and with skin, contains more than 1,000 mg of potassium. Even if you don't care for the skins, the flesh alone includes more than 600 mg. Potatoes bring their high potassium content with them when they become prepared foods. Mashed potatoes, hash browns, potato salad and potatoes au gratin all have more than 600 mg of potassium per one-cup serving, the USDA says.
Raisins and Prunes
Drying fruit takes out the water -- but not the minerals. One cup's worth of raisins, with about 1,086 mg of potassium, has about twice as much as a cup of banana. Pare your serving to only half a cup of raisins, and you're still even with a half-cup of banana -- and ahead of a whole banana. Meanwhile, 4 oz. of prunes -- dried plums -- provides about 830 mg of potassium.
A cup's worth of raw spinach leaves has 167 mg of potassium, but if you've ever cooked with spinach, you know that the volume of the stuff reduces significantly once the heat is on. One cup of boiled fresh spinach has about 839 mg of potassium. If it's the frozen stuff -- either leaf or chopped, a cup of prepared, boiled spinach has about 574 mg of potassium.